Monday, 25 June 2018

June 23/24th Scything competition at Wimpole Hall

I think this was their fourth year for this event run by Simon Damant. The Wimpole lathers were well represented. The Suffolk group from Bradfield Woods were also visiting - so great to see Will Wall, Sue Holden , Simon Lamb and others.

I was very lucky to have an impromptu workshop with Simon Lamb on how to make gypsy flowers - I have seen many in my wanderings but not as good as this! thanks Simon - may just add that to my product range after a great deal of practice.

David Owen and team (including Alan Reeder - our insurance man) was bark stripping Elm. Davis uses it for chair seats but was on a mission for Simon.

They had previously made a champion scyther's throne.

Jim who normally makes bowls and chairs was doing a roaring trade selling scythes.

Alistaire was giving David a hand splitting Elm for chair legs - horrible stuff. I suggested he saved it for firewood.

However there is no stopping Professor Owen - he was successful in his leg making despite the awful grain on this piece.

Simon using his power to weight ratio! The posts were used later to build haystacks. Graeme and dog in attendance (first aid).

Kathy was using a peg loom to weave a chair seat cover.

Our Physics teacher Matt of honey prize winning fame was busy on the lathe (lubricated with wax from his own bees).

He makes some lovely stuff!

David stitching the scything champions crown using Ash bark and Elm thread.

Hay processing competition!

Simon Lamb and Sean ferrying hay!

After building a stack round the pole they had to make a bale and throw it using a pitchfork over a goal.

John Flaherty with his Romainian hat and wearing just one home made sock.

He is on a quest - not only collecting machines (three to date) but to perfect the manufacture of perfect socks.

What a great event and Mediterranean weather. Thank to Simon's mum for the pheasant curry and other curries on Saturday night.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Stradsett County Show nr. Downhall Market Norfolk.

This was my first visit to this event held at Stradset Hall. The weather forecast for the Saturday was terrible - lots of local flooding and thunderstorms but not at the event site. Unfortunately this put lots of people off - so very few public. The Sunday was a lot better however.

Nigel Wright from a long line of wheelwrights and joiners a charming interesting man!

The Norfolk woodturning club had their own marque and three lathes going – a very nice bunch of guys.

I was set up next to Bob Lever the basketmaker who was doing very well with his garden sculptures – no baskets in site!


I had a late commission to make an early drop spindle for this lady who immediately put it to good use.

Jonathan Marshall – was entertaining but with white horses and his Falcon. You just have to see and listen to this man – a modern day evangelist perhaps?

 A very polished and interesting performance.

It was a great shame that the public chose not to brave the weather. The organisers had done a good job as usual.

26/28th At  Wildwood - Wakehurst Place

James Pumphrey doing a  very polished bowl making demonstration.


Danny Harling turned up out of the blue – he is a chairmaker from Lewes and hopefully he will be coming to a few more Sussex events. He runs chairmaking courses –

07971 572044

Amy Leake doing some have a go on the shavehorse.

Two Leakes! – we need to watch Adam yet to be youngest bowl maker?

Chloe was very busy with her workshop.

And I was enjoying record wand sales!

Pete Rippingal – what a star! Has so much time to talk to the public and has been known to entertain on his guitar.

Mark Smith with his dog Lunar. The story is that he went to acquire a re-homed sheepdog trialist.

He had his heart set a particular dog. However the person in charge thought it was not suited to him. Later on another dog made a huge leap over a barrier into Mark’s arms. This was lunar! Later on Mark discovered that lunar was born a full moon!

Damien Goodburn using some very old tools to make his demo that bit more interesting

Mike Gordon playing with the candlestick concept.

Andrew Coleman fresh from the glory of the team log to leg race – and very well deserved!

Our BB logo designer – Clore Cecil working at her medieval stall. 

What a lovely event, great organisation on the ground. Huge thanks to James P. for the towing services. Not too many Kent bodgers this year?

Monday, 4 June 2018

Billhook case. Wanstead 23-05-18

Latest commission from the Egerton Bushcraft magazine meeting – replacement handle in Holly. Its lovely stuff to turn and very strong.


and a leather case.

Had some fun softening the end and drawing it down to remove the original washer. It was then easy to form a rivit over the washer.

Had a great thank you note from the billhook owner with some Tolkien references - the original handle was grey and wormy and now it has a white replacement (the grey turning to white Gandolfian?)

 Slough House Wood - Katie Abbott and company  Monday 21-05-18

Katie had invited members of the Worshipful Company for the weekend. I sadly missed them as I was with the Kent group.

Nic Smith (who lives on a small Scottish Island – guess which one?)

She was making a shrink pot with two inset bases, having been inspired by a pot in the craft competition by Simon Lamb.

Sue Holden was knitting, this time alone as Will was off promoting Sawfest at Weird and Wonderful Wood

Katie was repairing a chair back using a mason’s mallet.

The new oven has proved to be a great way to baked bread and roast beef (missed that yesterday).

Plenty of loaves – now where dish did they put the fishes?

Great to visit Slough House Wood again, pity to miss Will Wall and of course we all miss Nick but his spirit lives on in all of us!

Re-arranged Kent meet at Benenden 20- 05-18


Ed Murphy is still in the hurdle business.


Keith practicing for the candlestick competition in October.


Harry – not sure if his is going for the log to leg or just making a chair.

Nancy making string from nettles or chestnut bark.

Carole spinning a yarn!

Keith advising a new member – fresh from the Ball.

Keith again advising Harry or the other way round – not sure.


Great day at John’s wood – it was unfortunate that it clashed with the Roots Gathering.

Bushcraft magazine May meet / Kent group at Egerton Forstal  05-05-18


Never seen anyone blowing up a Dinosaur before!

Carole Leonard helping to inflate the beast.


Mike Church with his new mobile home, he has even got a garden fence.

The wood carver has a really excellent van! (Jealous really) Loads of solid wood and a massive wood-burning stove.

All that weight is fine when you have 7.5 tonnes to play with.

Sweet little carved axe (as opposed to a carving axe?)

This lady made some great stuff – including some very pretty socks.

Phil Cara on duty as always having a chat with Keith Leonard.

Jill Swan running a spoon workshop for improvers I think Rebecca joining in.

Master spinner at work Carole Leonard.

Great social event once again and a good turnout from the bodgers. If you have never been then put it down for next year/